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Last year, around this time, Bibio released his first 'Ambient' outing for quite some time (2013's 'Silver Wilkinson' arguably contained the last vestiges of the ambience present in the early works, Vignetting The Compost, Ambivalence Avenue and Fi being the most notable examples of this crackly, distant approach) in 'Phantom Brickworks'.
Now, 12 months later, we're treated to a duo of candle-lit piano instrumentals. Heart-warmingly diffident and undeniably hypnotic, 'IV' builds from a crackly delayed piano flicker, slowly circumnutating into a band-passed cascade of tape echo and reverberating echoes. Through repetition, the emanating glow of familiarity gives way to a fractured and dissonant hum, closing out what could have been months of euphoric hypnosis before we flip over onto it's canonical follow-up, 'V'.
This one starts where the last left off, pulling a melodic turn out of a slowly warping wave of static, gradually intoducing melodic suggestions and instantly providing context for the featureless blanket of static. In many ways, this is the more direct of the pieces, with twinkling pianos overlaid on top of one another, hinting at the more arrhythmic diversions from his early work, but hidden behind a largely blank musical landscape in the opening few minutes.
It's the repetition that does all the work here, providing a thematic counterpoint to the constantly changing ambient backdrop and providing ample cover for the slowly morphing elliptical melodies.
Barry says: Beautifully understated but gorgeous plaintive instrumentals here, hidden under a blanket of lightly churning pads and warping static. Frail piano and typical Bibio counterpoint fill out the sonic spectrum, as meditative as it is beautiful. Top stuff.
Phantom Brickworks IV
Phantom Brickworks V